Bob Hawke, Australia’s longest-serving Labor Party prime minister, has died at the age of 89.
Mr Hawke was prime minister between 1983 and 1991 before he was ousted by his colleagues as Australia slipped into a recession.
The only two prime ministers to have served for longer (Sir Robert Menzies and John Howard) were both members of the conservative Liberal Party.
Robert James Lee Hawke was born in the agricultural centre of Bordertown in South Australia in 1929.
In 1958 he began what would become a lifelong involvement with the labour movement, joining the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He was elected president of the organisation in 1969.
When he was elected prime minister in March 1983, it was after less than three years in parliament and just one month as leader of the Labor Party.
But outside politics, he was best known for his love of sport and of beer.
He had a unique ability to speak to all Australians and will be greatly missed.
My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Bob’s widow Blanche and his family. May he Rest In Peace.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) May 16, 2019
The entire union movement grieves for the passing of Bob Hawke. Medicare. Superannuation. Modern Australia. Union movement hero.
— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) May 16, 2019
In 1983, Australia won the America’s Cup yacht race for the first time and he declared a national holiday, saying: “Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”
He also set a Guinness World Record during his years as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, downing two-and-a-half pints of beer in 11 seconds.
Bob Hawke is a giant of Australian politics. He and Paul Keating internationalised the Australian economy. He established APEC and radically deepened Australia’s engagement with Asia. He established Medicare. Together with Therese and the entire nation, I mourn his passing.
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) May 16, 2019
Farewell Bob Hawke a great Australian, Labor leader and reforming Prime Minister. Australia is a better place because of him. Lucy and I send our love and condolences to Blanche and all of his family.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) May 16, 2019
In his 1955 autobiography, he wrote: “This feat was to endear me to some of my fellow Australians more than anything else I ever achieved.”
And a 2012 video of him, then aged 82, drinking a beer handed to him at a cricket match as fans shouted “one for the country Robert” has had almost two million views on YouTube.
To many Australians, he was a man of the people, a lovable rogue whose message of consensus and union experience combined to minimise industrial disputes.
He was not popular with everyone, however, with some describing him as arrogant and sexist.
He admitted he had repeatedly cheated on his first wife Hazel Masterson during 39 years of marriage.
Shortly after their divorce, he married his biographer and mistress Blanche d’Alpuget.
In a statement, Ms d’Alpuget described him as “a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era”.
Former Uber driver Yusuf Abdi Ali responsible for torture in Somalia, jury finds | World News
A former Uber driver was responsible for torture while serving as a colonel in the Somali army in the 1980s, a jury has found.
Yusuf Abdi Ali, known as “Tukeh” or “Tokeh”, is alleged to have shot a teenager multiple times and left him for dead when an interrogation was interrupted by an insurgent attack in the east African country.
Earlier this month it emerged that Ali, who now lives in the US, was driving for taxi firms Uber and Lyft.
On Tuesday, a civil jury in Virginia awarded Farhan Mohamoud Tani Warfaa $500,000 (£395,000) after finding Ali was responsible for his torture.
Mr Warfaa, a member of the Isaaq clan in northern Somalia, told the court that he was herding camels and cattle for his family’s farm when he was rounded up in a mass arrest In December 1987 over a missing water-tanker truck.
According to the lawsuit, Ali ordered soldiers to bury Mr Warfaa but they realised the then-17-year-old was still alive and instead solicited a bribe from the teenager’s family to let him live.
During the case, Ali, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, acknowledged he had been a Somali colonel but denied torturing Mr Warfaa.
In its ruling, the jury rejected an allegation that Ali was responsible for the attempted extrajudicial killing of Mr Warfaa, even though the Somali citizen testified directly that it was Ali who shot him.
Ali’s lawyer, Joseph Peter Drennan, said the jury’s verdict indicated that it did not believe parts of Mr Warfaa’s testimony.
He added that Ali was only held responsible for torture under the theory that the soldiers who carried out the acts were under his command.
Mr Warfaa, who was helped by the Centre for Justice and Accountability to bring his case to court, said in a statement that the verdict was “a vindication not only for me, but also for many others in Somaliland who suffered under Col Tukeh’s command”.
Earlier this month, CNN reporters went undercover to take an Uber ride with Ali, who told them he worked for the firm and Lyft full-time.
Asked if the application process for drivers was difficult, Ali replied: “They just want your background check, that’s it.”
Ali drove for Uber for about 18 months after passing a screening process which included a review of his criminal history and a scan of government watchlists from the FBI and Interpol, according to the BBC.
Uber told the corporation that Ali has now been “permanently removed” from the app, while Lyft also reportedly said he had been banned from working for the company.
Saudi Arabia: Moderate Islamic scholars ‘to be executed’ | World News
Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to execute three moderate Islamic scholars despite the international outrage that followed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Sheikh Salman al Odah, a Muslim preacher with a million strong social media following, will be killed after the holy month of Ramadan say reports.
Amnesty International says more than 100 people have been executed this year, some beheaded and some crucified, including some younger than 18 when they were arrested.
Many of them have been Shia Muslims. The three named as next in line for execution are all Sunni.
Under de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the Saudi regime has been even less tolerant of dissent than before.
Several women driving activists remain in jail even though the government has now ended the ban on women being behind the wheel.
Their relatives say they have been abused and subjected to threats of torture and rape.
The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul caused international outrage last year and led to intense pressure on the country’s leadership.
The CIA and other observers believe it was carried out on orders from Mohammed bin Salman.
In an interview with Sky News shortly before his death, Mr Khashoggi expressed intense concern about the arrest of the three now facing execution, pointing out they were supporters of the kind of reforms their government claimed to be implementing.
The UK has defended maintaining close ties with the Saudi regime. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has visited the country several times since the Khashoggi murder.
The Foreign Office says those ties help the UK influence the Saudis.
But if these latest reports are true, such influence has failed to change minds in Riyadh.
The Saudi leadership appears undeterred and determined to continue its policy of zero tolerance of dissent with lethal effect.
Two-metre sea level rise would have ‘profound impact on humanity’ | World News
Global sea levels could rise by more than two metres causing catastrophic consequences for the world, according to a team of scientists.
Such a rise could result in the loss of 1.79 million km2 of land, including critical regions of food production, and the potential displacement of up to 187 million people.
Traditional methods for predicting rising sea levels from the melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic are based on numerical modelling, but these remain challenging due to changing factors.
A team of international scientists used a technique called structured expert judgement to ask 22 ice sheet experts to estimate plausible ranges for future sea level rises.
They asked them to consider the projected melting of each of the Greenland, West Antarctic and East Antarctic ice sheets under low and high future global temperature rise scenarios.
Lead author professor Jonathan Bamber, from the University of Bristol, said: “Structured expert judgement provides a formal approach for estimating uncertain quantities based on current scientific understanding, and can be useful for estimating quantities that are difficult to model.
“Projections of total global subsequent sea level rise using this method yielded a small but meaningful probability of subsequent sea level rise exceeding two metres by the year 2100 under the high temperature scenario, roughly equivalent to ‘business as usual’, well above the ‘likely’ upper limit presented in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
Prof Bamber added: “Such a rise in global sea level could result in land loss of 1.79 million km2, including critical regions of food production, and potential displacement of up to 187 million people.
“A subsequent sea level rise of this magnitude would clearly have profound consequences for humanity.”
The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com.
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